Kerr Takes on Vets and Teens at State Farm

By Associated PressAugust 31, 2005, 4:00 pm
2005 State Farm ClassicSPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Cristie Kerr figures she'll have plenty of time to relax in a couple of weeks.
For now, she's busy preparing for her title defense in the LPGA State Farm Classic and next week's stressful Solheim Cup matches.
``This is my third week in a row and then Solheim will be my fourth ... I have a couple of weeks off after that,'' Kerr said. ``I'm a little bit tired right now, but I'm going to go probably back today and take a nap and get ready to play and compete.''
Kerr, the defending champion this week in Springfield, Ill., won the Wendy's Championship for Children on Sunday in Ohio to lock up the top spot on the U.S. Solheim Cup team and move into third place on the money list.
The 27-year-old Kerr knows she's the center of attention after her fifth win in the last two years. It's her sixth title overall since joining the tour nine years ago.
``It makes me want to perform better and keeps me intense inside the ropes,'' Kerr wrote in an e-mail interview. ``My success has created more attention to me as a golfer as well as a person than before and I am trying to balance all these things for people to see the real me,''
Kerr heads a field that tees off Thursday at Rail Golf Club without the tour's top money winners, Annika Sorenstam and 19-year-old Paula Creamer, both taking the week off to prepare for the Solheim Cup next week at Crooked Stick in Carmel, Ind.
Kerr edged Sorenstam and Creamer by a stroke last week in Ohio.
``There are so many great golfers out on tour now. Just take a look at how many first-time winners we've had this year,'' Kerr said. ``You can't just think of Annika as the biggest challenge anymore though you still need to be mindful when she's out there.''
Sandy Dehner-Wheeler says the field is the strongest in her 27 years as tournament director, with 103 of the top 119 money winners, seven of the 12 U.S. Solheim Cup members and six from the European team, including captain Catrin Nilsmark.
The lineup for the $1.3 million tournament ranges from veterans Laura Davies, Juli Inkster and Karrie Webb, with a combined 80 LPGA victories, to Lorena Ochoa, who has four wins in her three years on tour.
U.S. Women's Amateur champion Morgan Pressel and former Duke star Brittany Lang are playing on sponsor exemptions. The 17-year-old Pressel and 19-year-old Lang tied for second in the U.S. Women's Open in June.
``I think from one to 100, it's the best I've ever seen,'' said Dehner-Wheeler, who is retiring after the tournament.
Kerr said she's eager to get back on the 6,649-yard course where she had consecutive 63s in the second and third rounds last year en route to a tournament-record 24-under 264 total.
``I'm really looking forward to this week rather than feeling pressure,'' Kerr said. ``I really know the course well. It's a good test of golf and has great scoring opportunities.''
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    Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test

    By Will GrayDecember 12, 2017, 11:30 pm

    One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.

    Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.

    "I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."

    Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.

    "I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.

    Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.

    "Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."

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    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.

    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

    Masters victory

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    Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ

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    Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

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    Man of the people

    Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

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    Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

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    Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

    Squashed beef with Paddy

    Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

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    Victory at Valderrama

    Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm